The Irish have their stew, the Welsh have Cawl and in Lancashire they have Hotpot. Lancashire Hotpot is probably the most famous dish to come from the county of Lancashire and as you can see in this recipe it is very simple and straightforward to make.
Hotpot is a long, slow cooked recipe, yet unlike many stews, it is still quite light and suitable for eating all year round (save perhaps on a really hot summer's day). Pop it in the oven, leave for a couple of hours and you have a great supper dish and, it tastes even better the next day when the flavours have had time to develop.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Yield: Serves 4
- 55g /2 oz/beef dripping or lard
- 8 middle neck lamb chops, on the bone
- 225g / ½ lb onions, skinned and finely sliced
- 55g / 2 oz/butter, melted
- 900g / 2 lb/potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
- 4 lambs kidneys, cored and sliced (optional)
- 1 carrot, peeled and thickly sliced
- Salt and pepper
- 1 litre / 3 cups of beef or chicken stock
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/ 400°F/Gas 6.
- In a large frying pan, melt the dripping or lard and heat until hot but not smoking. Quickly colour the chops on both sides, remove from the fat, and drain on kitchen paper.
- Add the sliced onions to the hot fat and cook quickly, stirring constantly until softened but not coloured. Remove from the fat and drain on kitchen paper.
- In a large oven-proof, casserole pour half the butter into the bottom then cover with a layer of sliced potato, cover with half the onions, season with salt and pepper. Lay the chops on the top with the onion, don't worry if the bones stick up, this was traditional in Lancashire Hotpot. If using, lay the sliced kidneys over the chops, add the carrot, cover with the remaining onions, season.
- Pour in enough stock to come two thirds way up the casserole dish, don't worry if you have some left over you can always top up during cooking. Add the Worcestershire sauce.
- Cover with another layer of overlapping potatoes, ensuring the surface is completely covered. Brush the potato with the remaining melted butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Cover the pot with a tightly fitting lid and cook in the oven for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, reduce the heat to 350°F/180°C/Gas 4 and cook for a further 1½ hours. Check from time to time to make sure the casserole isn't drying out, top up with stock or water as necessary.
- Remove the lid from the casserole and cook until the potatoes on the surface are brown, remove from the oven and leave to rest about 10 minutes. Serve on hot plates with fresh, seasonal vegetables.